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Why are newly qualified BME nurses “disadvantaged” when applying for nursing jobs?

Posted by:

26 November, 2012

Why are newly qualified nurses from minority ethnic groups “disadvantaged” when applying for nursing jobs?

New research has found that the odds of obtaining job offers in London are significantly lower for newly qualified nurses from some minority ethnic groups. 

Previous research has suggested internationally recruited ethnic minority nurses are disadvantaged in employment opportunities. But this is the first to explore whether the issue also affects newly qualifieds from minority ethnic groups that have undertaken nursing education in this country.

The study involved 1,047 newly qualified nurses graduating from eight universities in London.

It showed that the odds of receiving an offer of employment by the time of qualification were lower than white British nurses for all the minority ethnic groups studied.

But the results were most striking for black African and Asian/Chinese ethnic groups, where the odds of having a job offer were half or less that of students of white British origin.

The study authors said the findings raised some “very important questions” about what factors influenced employment opportunities for newly qualified nurses from non-white and ethnic groups.

Read the study here

Readers' comments (8)

  • What is remarkable is the absence of posters names!

    Speaks volumes ....

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Elsie Gayle Independent Midwife | 27-Nov-2012 1:08 pm

    Perhaps you would like to elaborate?

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  • Anonymous | 27-Nov-2012 10:20 pm

    Trolls, darling, trolls!

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  • pheeew... you guys sound like you got issues!...

    Probably what is more important are questions like 'can the candidate speak the language enough to make themselves understood' (and not just the language, but the language in the cultural sense), or if they can communicate in non verbal ways as well...

    And before you get on your 'fight racism soapbox', Its not about skin colour but whether the person is appropriate for the job.
    I have worked with some Nurses & HCAs who (yes, happen to be of 'ethnic origin' or whatever you want the phrase to be) leave me in dispair with their lack of grammar, spelling and sentence construction, let alone their conversation skills - not very helpful and quite dangerous to be honest. I suppose that I have unfortunately worked with the wrong people in the wrong job...

    Problem is, in saying the obvious, you get shot down and branded as racist when its just common sense questions. Can 'white british' AND 'minority ethnic groups' communicate effectively?

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  • tinkerbell

    Studelicious | 28-Nov-2012 6:31 am

    'Problem is, in saying the obvious, you get shot down and branded as racist when its just common sense questions. Can 'white british' AND 'minority ethnic groups' communicate effectively?'

    Nail on the head. Someone at some point is going to be branded by someone as 'racist' which makes it very difficult to have an in depth debate and so the problem rolls on.

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  • Studelicious:28-Nov-2012 6:31 am." their lack of grammar, spelling and sentence construction, let alone their conversation skills - not very helpful and quite dangerous to be honest."

    Before I start, I am sure someone will brand me as racist, I apologize for hurting anyone's feelings with my opinions! But they are mine and in a country of free speech I should be entitled to express them. I have been on the receiving end of a great deal of racism from both the black and white Nursing staff, both indigenous and non indigenous in England. Perhaps this racist violence is what has shaped me to think like this?

    I agree that in part, this(Studelicious's contribution) is an issue for recruiters, they need their wards/ and areas to be safe places for patients, and sadly English patients are not known for their trust of the Black person/or the foreigner, at the best of times! Nor are the English with whom I have worked in the East End of London, been known for valuing ethnic minorities as equal citizens, human beings or thinking people either. I think though, their attitudes may be even more fixed and narrow if you happen to be BME, no matter how sweet, kind and well informed you are as a Nurse.

    Perhaps it is also because of the experiences of the white, British( or otherwise, as I am) nurses who have all worked in wards when the ethnic groups, be they Black or Asian, ganged up, when they were in the majority against the white Nurses. Excluding the white Nurses from their conversations, observations and social activities. This is counterproductive in Nursing terms. So perhaps the failure to recruit them is as a prevention of this being a problem... nip it in the bud before there is a risk of it.

    As a recruiter one is looking for nurses who are going to fit and and enhance the teams skills. Perhaps recruiters don't see the need for a more multicultural outlook? And if they have had problems with a particular racial group having what they would view as " attitude problems" either being chips on shoulders or "Too clever to care" issues then it is understandable, if racist, to view everyone as being potentially as bad as their last bad experience.

    It is not as though recruiters are challenged about their recruitment decisions, they generally aren't. And this might help them to face their resistance to employ staff on Equal Opps basis and not on the color of their skins.

    Its a thorny problem but I would say that racism is alive and well in the UK, despite all the legislation. Time to wake up UK!

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  • Racism is alive and kicking in the uk, almost all NHS trusts in London/ the rest of the country engage in racism, of course they are
    not about to admit this and will deny that it exists.

    Racism begins in the NMC, RCM and RCN. Who from the top will do anything to change this? It is the same group of people who from the start appoint people like themselves into the top jobs as well.

    Can so many ethnic minority nurses be delivering such poor standard of care, for so many to be called up to the NMC

    The Trusts in London probably choose the colour of their healthcare professionals to match the areaswhere the NHS Trust is located.

    So what advise can any of you give to those ethnic minority nurses who fail to get a job based on their
    ethnicity. There is not much they can do about that is there? They cant change the colour of their skins and not all of them have attitude problems, how can you at an employment unterview decide that a candidate is not right for the job. A lot of white nurses are employed who can not do their job, what can you do about that, you will support them and give them every chance to improve, and even when they do not improve you will find they dodge and the management pass the buck and that person continue. However if it was an ethnic minority nurse, they would not be given the same consideration.

    So yes its time to wake up everyone knows there is racism against the ethnic population in the UK.

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  • If we are all for good standards of care, then we all must be able to deliver whether we are black, white or green.
    We all have weakness in different ways, it takes good management structure to help us to overcome the weakness. That is exactly where the problem is, the managers are simply not able.
    I will give an example of racism, when I work on the ward I always get the most heavy and challenging patients, my white collegues gets the easier areas so they get more time for documentation, updating plans of care, while I am still helping my patients. No help forthcoming from anyone. When the next shift comes on I am the one who has not updated care plans while my collegues can hold their head up high and feel they are better than me, their paperwork is all updated.
    That is why if there is a proper work structure in place, racism will not be so common.
    Nursing in this country lacks structure, drive for high and good standards of care coupled with poor management.

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